One of the world’s most densely populated countries, Bangladesh has 47 million people living in poverty.
Formerly East Pakistan, it is one of the world’s youngest countries, having only come into existence in 1971, when Pakistan’s two sides split after a bitter war which drew in neighbouring India.
As an ICS volunteer in Bangladesh, you will work to make sure young people are improving their quality of life. You could be teaching them how to deliver courses, providing enterprise training, as well as making sure they are more involved in decision making in local government.
Working for a fairer world
Young people aged 18-35 make up a third of Bangladesh’s population of 160 million. Engaging these young people in decisions that affect their lives is a key part of the work of ICS.
Tearfund volunteers learn how to deliver training and skills courses – which are then taught to local young people. The aim is to build confidence and creativity in the youth to address community needs and issues by creating their own initiatives after ICS volunteers finish their placement.
This is supported by the work of VSO volunteers, who make sure young people are engaged with local governance so employment can be created and they become more aware of their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR).
Y Care International also tackles issues around gender, as well as education. ICS volunteers hold workshops on the importance of education and the dangers of early marriage, working with young people, children and families to show the benefits of getting a good education.
Living in Bangladesh
There are multiple project locations in Bangladesh, including Birishiri, Rangrapara, Chitolmari, Batiaghata, Parbotipur and Edilpur. Tearfund and VSO’s placements in Bangladesh see volunteers live with host families, usually with one other volunteer, while Y Care International volunteers will stay at the local YMCA campus in shared rooms.
As with other placements, volunteers will be expected to eat like a local. Due to the coastal nature of Bangladesh’s geography, fish makes up a big part of their diet, accompanying rice, meat, lentils and vegetables. Dishes range from sweet and mild to hot and spicy.
And outside of ICS, volunteers make a difference in their own ways. From working with local church youth groups to maintaining vegetable gardens, creating youth clubs and carrying out assessments to see what communities need, as an ICS volunteer you’ll be staying busy.
ICS partners working in Bangladesh